Her jaw dropped! Never in a million years did she expect this from him. She was flabbergasted. A confused chuckle escaped and she closed her eyes tightly. Counting to three she opened them again. Still, he kneeled there before her, naked as could be.
Again, the chuckle. “What is this?” she whispered through quivering lips. Truly she didn’t know whether to shit, or go blind. “Boog? Really? What’s going on?”
He stood, having been crouched upon one knee for way too long for his age, and smirked at the bare-naked lady blushing before him. The wine cooler fizzed over and a stray, gray hair fell into his wide, uncertain eyes. Still, his dentures glistened, and he looked as happy as a fox in a chicken coop.
“I think you should become my wife, Addie. We jive, baby, like peas and carrots. I need you to complete me.”
She simply pressed her lips together and shook her head. “You crazy, old fool! Together we must be more than a hundred-fifty years old. Come to think of it, combined we probably have less than ten years to live. We’re too damned old for such silliness.”
Boog waved the bottle in the air. “Hogwash!”
“Don’t you hogwash me,” she shot back. Her fingers shook, and she fumbled with the task of buttoning up her blouse.
“Dumpling. How great would it be? To share a room, instead of having to be wheeled back-and-forth halfway down the hall to each others’ rooms. We’ll wake up together, have breakfast together, just be able to sit together watching Reality TV, and game shows, and not have to worry about worrying about when it’s time to go. C’mon. I love you, Addie. I don’t like to see those aides dragging you out of here. If we were married…”
She tossed his flannel shirt at him, insisting that he get dressed. “They’ll be here soon.” and then his dungarees and suspenders landed against his bare chest.
“We’d be able to lock the door…”
“Boog! Get dressed.”
“Addie, please! Sleep on it. It’d be wonderful.”
“Maybe so, Boog. I just can’t imagine…”
“Imagine being Mr. and Mrs. Edward Fartmore.”
Addie’s brows lifted, and she crinkled her nose. She absolutely hated his last name, Fartmore. Really?
He grimaced, “Right. So imagine instead, Mr. and Mrs. Boog!” he smiled, and when he did an adolescent charm just exuded from him. Gosh. How she loved him.
“Boog? What about my kids? I’m seventy-two years old, I’m in here to die. They’ll never understand that an old lady wants to get married, just so that she could share a room and have sex with an old man, or so that she doesn’t have to commute to-and-from in order to accomplish it.”
“This is not about them.” It was at this moment that he produced the daintiest, diamond ring.
She started to believe in the absurd possibility, she really did. Biting her lower lip she grinned, and then other things factored in. He’d learn of her occasional bouts of incontinence, her obsession with that funny, little call bell, and her consistent nightmares, which is the reason for her little obsession!
“I don’t know, Boog.”
“Sleep on it, Addie. We’ll talk tomorrow. Promise you‘ll think about it.”
At the gentle knock, Boog beckoned the aide to enter his room. He had just finished dressing and was red-faced, breathless, and sweating from the efforts, when the pretty girl came in to take Addie back to her own room. If they were married, Addie would be sleeping in that vacant bed, right here in his room and he would be able to hear her snores all night long. He smiled. She denies that she snores, but she does, louder than anyone he’s ever known.
“Night, Boog,” she whispered. It tore her in two to leave him.
“G’night, Addie.” It broke his heart to hear the loneliness in her voice.
They kissed each other goodnight.
Addie lay in bed later that night contemplating Boog’s offer. Thoughts, weighing the good and bad, banged around in her brain like a pinball machine, until finally she had a massive headache. Out of habit, she pushed the little, red button.
When the aide asked her what she needed, Addie began to laugh. She laughed harder that she had in many years. Instead of asking for pain killers, like she normally would, she said, “I need to call my children. I think they would want to know that their Momma is getting hitched!”
“Yep! Boog asked me to marry him, and I’m going to accept. I’m going to be Mrs. Fartmore, of all things!”
Lossie Reeves is from Falls, Pennsylvania. She’s been published in Le Mot Juste, Writer’s Cauldron, Alchemy Literary Magazine Online, The Wild Child Publishing, and Weems Concepts.
This story was sponsored by
Camilla d’Errico: A character designer and artist who dances on the tightrope between pop surrealist art and manga inspired graphics. Explore her paintings, characters and comics: Tanpopo, BURN and Helmetgirls.